The late Derrick Thomas is still revered in Kansas City, where he once was the bedrock of the Chiefs’ defense. The Hall of Fame linebacker is beloved for his consistent hard-nosed play, athleticism, intelligence and compassion within the larger Kansas City community.
Now those traits are being echoed by another Thomas: The former linebacker’s daughter, Alexa Harmon-Thomas. The only child of Thomas and former Chiefs public relations professional Kelly Harmon, Alexa Harmon-Thomas has emerged as one of the most dominant track athletes in the state of Kansas, and the nation.
A four-year standout for Lawrence Free-State High, Harmon-Thomas once set a world age-group record for the 400 meter dash. She now ranks in the top-10 in Kansas history in three premier events, including the 300-meter hurdles, high jump and heptathlon. As noted in this terrific MaxPreps feature, that versatility helped Harmon-Thomas earn a scholarship offer from the University of Texas, arguably the nation’s top track program.
Of course, if she wanted to, Harmon-Thomas probably could have picked the Ivy League school of her choice. The senior is a National Merit Scholar Semifinalist and a straight-A student.
She’s competed at the IAAF World Championships in far flung locales like the Ukraine in 2013, but all of those trips and accomplishments are far behind what she achieves in the classroom, according to her mother.
While Harmon’s senior season has been held back by persistent nagging injuries, she still hopes to crown a glowing four-year run at Free-State with a few more state titles. As a freshman she won two events and finished second in two others. She slipped to two second place and one third performance as a sophomore, then dominated the 200-meter, 800-meter and heptathlon as a junior.
Whether her health allows Harmon-Thomas to compete as a senior or not, the sky is the limit for her future, just as it always was for her father.